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Un seul pas suffirait pour arrêter le compteur macabre !
Avant son incarcération, Bahar Kimyongür avait lancé un appel urgent à la constitution d'une délégation internationale en Turquie en vue de sauver la vie de l'avocat des droits de l'Homme Behiç Asçi, en grève de la faim depuis plusieurs mois en protestation pour les conditions de détention de ses clients. Il fut écouté mais Maître Asçi se débat encore entre la vie et la mort. Faisons du geste généreux de Bahar une victoire : Soutenons sa campagne ! [Lire]

 


Why we must support Bahar Kimyongür and demand his release

All democrats must protect civil liberties and mobilise on Bahar Kimyongür's emblematic case


Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that «Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers».

 

bahar et deniz
Bahar and Deniz

Bahar Kimyongur is a 32 year old Belgian citizen who has relentlessly exposed violations of human rights perpetrated by the Turkish State. Over the last few years he has atempted tomake public opinion aware of cases of torture in Turkish prisons – this through an information bureau related to the DHKC, a Turkish communist organisation. Set up in Brussels' European district this Bureau has stayed within the limits et by Belgian Law, as was repeated by the Belgian Minister for Justice in 2004.

This means that all Bahar Kimyongur has done is avail himself of the liberties offered by the Belgian Constitution and interantional treatises. Indeed he never committed any crime whether in Belgium, in Turkey or elsewhere. He merely developed a critical argumentation against what the policies carried out by the Ankara government, and organised himself accordingly.

However, on the basis of the Belgian antiterrorist law voted in December 2003 (a law inspired by the bills the Bush administration Bush adopted after September 11, 2001), Bahar Kimyongür's democratic opposition  is now labelled "terrorism."
His translating a press release issued by the DHKP-C (which is considered a terrorist organisation by  Turkey, and in its wake by the United States and the European Union) and his participating in actions organised in Brussels by the DHKP-C Information Bureau are now regarded by Belgian courts as evidence that the Belgian graduate is actually a leader in an international terrorist organisation. As a consequence, on 7 November 2006 the Ghent Court of Appeal sentenced him to five years emprisonment without reprieve.

Bahar Kimyongür thus became the first Belgian political prisoner since the Second World War for all Belgium claims it is a democracy where human rights are respected. While in the spring 2006 the Dutch Court had considered this Belgiqn citizen's activism perfectly legitimate, his own country's Justice has now aligned itself on the same positon as Turkey and the United States. In fact, beyond the situation of the actual man, Bahar Kimyongur is a symbol: he highlights the dangers war on terrorism represents for freedom of speech and freedom of association in the West.

To demand Bahar Kimyongur's release amounts to defending the freedom of all citizens.

All left-wing people must unite to oppose the US policy which equates social protest and terrorism

Since the 9/11 attacks the Bush administration launched its global war on terrorism. Thanks to massive fear-breeding propaganda the United States and their European allies are trying to assimilated left-wing political opponents to delinquents, gangsters, terrorists. In Belgium Bahar Kimyongür is the first victim of such manipulation.

As they apply the 2003 antiterrorist law Belgian courts no longer have to base their decisions on actually perpetrated crimes: a political position is now sufficient. In spite of several alarming reports (by Amnesty International, for instance, or even the European Commission) that point to the violations of Human Rights in Turkey, the Ghent Court of Appeal started from the assumption that Turkey is a democracy. As a consequence an opposition organisation such as the DHKP-C is regarded as a "terrorist" group and belonging to it is perceived as a "terrorist act."

The attribute "terrorist" makes it possible to ignore that actually Bahar Kimyongür has never committed any crime (in fact none of the five convicted people in the DHKP-C trial was charged with violent acts. They were sentenced to several years in prison on the basis of their belonging to an allegedly terrorist organisation). Moreover, while as an international activist Kimyongur feels sympathy for the DHKP, he never claimed that he was a party member. Using the word "terrorism" questions the very notion of democracy. Indeed, in a democratic country, no court can define the nature of another state or of opposition organisations.

In practical terms, while Turkey has a right to make its position known in Belgium, so has the DHKC. Otherwise, and in reference to the new law, spokespersons of an organisation such as Nelson Mandela's ANC (when it staunchly fought the apartheid regime in South Africa) can be sentenced to prison as terrorists in Belgium.

Whether we agree with his views or not, it is clear the Bahar Kimyongür is not a terrorist; he is an activist, a political opponent to the Ankara regime who has never transgressed Beligium's democratic legal limits. His work is much appreciated in the Belgian civil society, and the CLEA (Committee for Freedom of Speech and Association) supports his protest against social injustices in Turkey, against torture in prisons, against the oppression of minorities in the country his parents came from, against Turkish authorities' submussion to pax americana. This is part of a salutary critical attitude in a democracy.

We have to stand up for Bahar Kimyongür to avoid any kind of questioning being silenced as planned by George W. Bush and his buddies. In the West as everywhere in the world we have lots of reasons for protest. To demand "freedom for Bahar" means to refuse the US view of the world, to oppose the Bush administration for whom any protester is a potential terrorist. Seeing in Bahar Kimyongür a symbol of international solidarity amounts to strongly recalling that speaking up, organising and protesting are not terrorist acts. These are rights we have dearly made ours. A necessity.

Vous souhaitez aider le Clea à lancer une campagne internationale dynamique pour récolter 10 000 signatures autour du mot d’ordre « liberté pour Bahar ! », contactez dflinker@ulb.ac.be



Le Clea est un collectif citoyen visant à promouvoir un débat critique sur les nouvelles législations antiterroristes. Le cas de Bahar Kimyongür est exemplaire à cet égard. En vertu de ces nouvelles dispositions, non seulement les libertés d'expression et d'association sont mises à mal mais, en plus, l'avenir d'un homme qui n'a commis aucun délit et comdamné aujourd'hui à cinq ans de prison ferme, est gravement compromis.  
 
 
 

autocollant
Bahar Kimyongür est un symbole
Il est le symbole des dangers que la lutte contre le “terrorisme” fait peser sur nos libertés

Vous souhaitez soutenir Bahar concrètement ?
Ce qui suit vous intéressera :
Lire
Téléchargez ici, et reproduisez et diffusez SVP un tract au format pdf
Soutenir Bahar
Prochaine réunion du Clea : À fixer


«Dis-moi avec qui tu colistes...»
Lire :

«Un citoyen belge livré pour des raisons électoralistes à un régime pratiquant la torture ?»

Consultez aussi :
www.mouvements.be


Actualité de Huxley
«(...) au moyen de méthodes toujours plus efficaces de manipulation mentale, les démocraties changeront de nature. Les vieilles formes pittoresques – élections, parlements, hautes cours de justice– demeureront mais la substance sous-jacente sera une nouvelle forme de totalitarisme non violent. Toutes les appellations traditionnelles, tous les slogans consacrés resteront exactement ce qu'ils étaient aux bon vieux temps. La démocratie et la liberté seront les thèmes de toutes les émissions (...) et de tous les éditoriaux mais (...) l'oligarchie au pouvoir et son élite hautement qualifiée de soldats, de policiers, de fabricants de pensée, de manipulateurs mentaux mènera tout et tout le monde comme bon lui semblera.»
Aldous Huxley, Retour au meilleur des mondes
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